Subscribing to newsletters

I like reading RSS feeds. I’ve written before about how my feed reader feels different to my email client:

When I open my RSS reader to catch up on the feeds I’m subscribed to, it doesn’t feel like opening my email client. It feels more like opening a book. And, yes, books are also things to be completed—a bookmark not only marks my current page, it also acts as a progress bar—but books are for pleasure. The pleasure might come from escapism, or stimulation, or the pursuit of knowledge. That’s a very different category to email, calendars, and Slack.

Giles put it far better when described what using RSS feeds feels like :

To me, using RSS feeds to keep track of stuff I’m interested in is a good use of my time. It doesn’t feel like a burden, it doesn’t feel like I’m being tracked or spied on, and it doesn’t feel like I’m just another number in the ads game.

To me, it feels good. It’s a way of reading the web that better respects my time, is more likely to appeal to my interests, and isn’t trying to constantly sell me things.

That’s why I feel somewhat conflicted about email newsletters. On the one hand, people are publishing some really interesting things in newsletters. On the hand, the delivery mechanism is email, which feels burdensome. Add tracking into the mix, and they can feel downright icky.

But never fear! My feed reader came to the rescue. Many newsletter providers also provide RSS feeds. NetNewsWire—my feed reader of choice—will try to find the RSS feed that corresponds to the newsletter. Hurrah!

I get to read newsletters without being tracked, which is nice for me. But I also think it would be nice to let the authors of those newsletters know that I’m reading. So here’s a list of some of the newsletters I’m currently subscribed to in my feed reader:

The Whippet by McKinley Valentine:

A newsletter for the terminally curious.

Sentiers by Patrick Tanguay:

A carefully curated selection of articles with thoughtful commentary on technology, society, culture, and potential futures.

The Fitzwilliam:

Policy, ethics and applied rationality with an Irish slant.

The Science Of Fiction:

How science shapes stories about the future and how stories about the future shape science.

Adjacent Possible by Steven Johnson:

Exploring where good ideas come from—and how to keep them from turning against us.

Faster, Please! by James Pethokoukis:

Discovering, creating, and inventing a better world through technological innovation, economic growth, and pro-progress culture.

undefended / undefeated by Sara Hendren:

Ideas at the heart of material culture—the everyday stuff in all our lives

Today in Tabs by Rusty Foster:

Your favorite newsletter’s favorite newsletter.

Have you published a response to this? :

Responses

Previously on this day

1 year ago I wrote Hope

Hyperlinks are the things with feathers.

5 years ago I wrote Container queries

Houdini to the rescue?

10 years ago I wrote Device labs

Brighton, London, Malmö…

12 years ago I wrote Ship talk

A distributed online conversation.

17 years ago I wrote Ajax shopping cart

I’ve been working together with Message on a couple of different projects recently. Some of the more exciting work has involved building a new back end for the award-winning Rapha website.

18 years ago I wrote Registering my displeasure

The hot topic of the day would appear to be newspaper sites that require visitors to register before allowing them to read any articles. Wired is running a story which ties in nicely with last week’s article about The New York Times and its lousy pa

18 years ago I wrote The grand alliance

Given the martial tone of some of my recent posts, I’m starting to feel more and more like a warblogger.

19 years ago I wrote This is just a test

This is not the journal entry you were looking for. Move along, move along.

20 years ago I wrote One for the Webmonkeys

Geek that I am, I thought it was the funniest thing ever when I saw this sticker on a black drainpipe.